Desi Talk

6 COVER STORY March 17, 2023 – that’s all you need to know Multiethnic Organizations Of Illinois Celebrate International Women’s Day On Capitol Hill -WASHINGTON, DC T he American Multi Ethnic Coali- tion (AMEC) and the Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force (MEATF) hosted the 11th Annual Congres- sional International Women’s Day 2023, on March 8, 2023, on Capitol Hill, and celebrated the achievements of 20 women of diverse ethnicities. Congressmen Danny Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jonathan Jackson, and Congresswoman Delia Ramirez, all rep- resenting Illinois, along with President of the Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Tariq Butt, and Founder of Dads with Daugh- ters, Ravi Karkara were all presented with the Edward & Lily Prabhakar Centenary Awards 2023. The award commemorates the birth centenary of Edward and Lily Prabhakar, parents of Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, founder of AMEC and MEATF. Eight-year-old Samara Karkara, a third grader at MAS school in NewYork, and a passionate girls’ rights advocate delivered the Call to Action. Karkara while talking about “Sheroes from all over the world,” named 31 sheroes including Rosa Parks, Kamala Harris, and President of India Droupadi Murmu as her inspiration. She wanted every- one at the ceremony to take a pledge to ensure “All girls and women are equal; There will be no segregation for girls and women; All girls and women can do whatever they choose; and All girls and women are free.” Congressman Davis said, “I thank all of you for coming to visit your house, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. It belongs to you.” Appreciat- ing Samara’s leadership qualities, he referred to her talk as “one of the most fascinating speeches” he had ever heard. Praising the organizers, Krishnamoor- thi said he was happy to be part of the occasion to celebrate women. Referring to the organizers, he said “They do the Lord’s work in terms of helping others in a time when a lot of people need help… so the helpers are the ones that we look to in Congress for leadership.” About Davis, Krishnamoorthi said “he is about the people,” and “community empower- ment,” and “if there is a way, he will mean to get it done.” Acknowledging the efforts of Da- vis to recognize ethnic communities, minorities, and especially women, Dr. Prabhakar expressed his content in the continuing of the awards ceremony for the second consecutive year on Capitol Hill. He thanked Chief of Staff to Davis, Tumia Romero, for playing a vital role in bringing this ceremony to Capitol Hill. Referring to Karkara, Dr. Prabhakar said he was happy to “[pass] the baton to the next generation,” and her Call to Action “set the tone for today.” Past President of the American As- sociation of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), and Pediatric Anesthesiologist from San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, who was one of the 20 Global Women of Excellence 2023 awardees, highlighted AAPI’s contribu- tions during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Gotimukula said AAPI raised over $5 million in fundraising, supplied oxygen concentrators and ventilators, and pro- vided telemedicine assistance during the acute Delta wave crisis in India. She also talked about AAPI’s national blood donation drive last year, and her ongo- ing Rural India public health initiative, “Indian Preventive Task Force Guide- lines” for preventive health, which has directly benefited 60 villages to-date. “I work for NASA and diversity inclusion and equity is one of our core values, and I look forward to increas- ing that through the digital future,” said Deputy Director of NASA Goddard Flight Center, Maryland, Joanne Hill. Mary Barthelson, 2023 Candidate for Virginia House of Delegates and Space Systems Engineer, an advocate for low-income families in Fairfax County, promoter of STEM education, and sup- porter for the resettlement of refugees, said, “I believe that it is important for women to support and uplift each other and to encourage one another to pursue their passions and goals. By doing so we can create a world where every woman has the opportunity to succeed regardless of their background or their circumstances.” Community Activist, Zoe Ma, who helps underserved inner-city youth with violence prevention, through the Gandhi King Center for Non-Violence in Englewood, IL, said she is a Chinese im- migrant who arrived in America alone 28 years ago with just $40 in her pocket. “My personal achievement can inspire young women and single mothers, and the path to empowerment is through entrepreneurship,” she said while advo- cating fair representation of women and minorities in government and corporate world for equitable society. Among others, NY State Assembly- woman, Jennifer Rajkumar, White House Correspondent of ANI, Reena Bhardwaj, President & CEO of Esolvit, Usha Bod- dapu, Founder of SAPNA, Dr. Sarada Sonty, and Founder of Vidya Jyothi, Prat- ibha Jairath were the other awardees. By T.Vishnudatta Jayaraman Photos:T.Vishnudatta Jayaraman,DesiTalk Awardees along with Dr. Prabhakar posing with Illinois Congressmen Davis, Krishnamoorthi, and Jackson at the 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day 2023, on March 8, 2023, on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC. Eight-year-old Samara Karkara delivering Call to Action at the 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day 2023, on March 8, 2023, on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC. Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi with the Edward & Lily Prabhakar Centenary Award 2023 at the 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day 2023, on March 8, 2023, on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC. From left, Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, Brian Pasternak, Danny Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jonathan Jackson, and Tumia Romero at the 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day 2023, on March 8, 2023, on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC